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  • 7/31/2019 Coping With



  • 7/31/2019 Coping With



    The details contained in this booklet have been prepared with due care and are believed

    to be correct at the time of publication. This booklet provides general information about

    the processes surrounding the investigation of a workplace fatality. This publication does not

    represent a comprehensive statement of the law as it applies to particular situations orto individuals nor is it a substitute for legal advice.

    Parts of this material are reproduced with the permission of WorkCover New South Wales

    and the Commission for Occupational Safety and Health, Western Australia.

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    Foreword 2

    The Role of Investigating Agencies: 3

    SafeWork SA 3

    SA Police 3

    State Coroner 4

    SafeWork SA Processes: 4

    Investigation 4

    Prosecution 5

    Court Process 6

    Obtaining A SafeWork SA Report 7

    Coronial Inquest 9

    Personal Issues to Deal With 11Where Will The Deceased Be Taken? 11

    Post Mortem 11

    Obtaining a Copy of the Post Mortem Report 11

    Arranging The Funeral 11

    Coping Emotionally 13

    Grief Counselling 14

    Financial Matters 14

    Death Certificate 14

    Wills, Grants and Probate 14

    Workers Compensation 16

    Key Definitions 17

    Superannuation and Life Insurance 18

    Money Owed by Employer 18

    Urgent Bills 18

    Centrelink 18

    Legal Assistance 19

    The Law Society 19Legal Services Commission 19

    Lists of Contacts and Resources 19

    Counselling 20

    Support 20

    On-line Information 22

    Financial Support and Information 22

    Wills 23

    Legal Assistance 23Other Contacts 24

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    If you are reading this, it may well be because someone close to you has died

    suddenly or unexpectedly at work. Coping with the loss of a loved one under

    such circumstances is a most painful and difficult experience. As you try to

    come to terms with this, you will be confronted by a range of situations anddecisions that you may find overwhelming.

    In an attempt to help you through this difficult time, SafeWork SA has

    compiled the following information. Some of it may apply to you and some

    may not.

    Because of the circumstances of your loss you may have to deal with a

    number of legal, judicial and statutory authorities, such as police, the court

    system and WorkCover.

    The information provided in this booklet is intended to assist you to deal withsuch authorities. By understanding their roles, responsibilities and processes

    we hope that you are relieved of some of the pressures confronting you.

    For more information about the progress of a specific investigation, please

    contact us on 8303 0400.

    Michele Patterson

    Executive DirectorSafeWork SA

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    The role of SafeWork SA

    SafeWork SA is the government agency responsible for administering all

    occupational health, safety and welfare legislation in South Australia. This

    includes the investigation of workplace incidents in which people have beenseriously or fatally injured. The purpose of an investigation is to:

    find out exactly what happened

    try to prevent it happening again

    determine whether any occupational health and safety laws have been


    Investigators will interview all people who may be able to assist in

    understanding what occurred. These people may include eyewitnesses, other

    employees and the employer. Family members may also be asked to make a

    statement to assist in the investigation.

    The investigation process can be complicated and can take several months (or

    longer in certain circumstances) to complete. If you wish, SafeWork SA can

    keep you updated about the investigation as it progresses. On completion, a

    copy of the investigation report is provided to the Coroners Court. The family

    (or their legal representatives) of a person fatally injured at work can apply to

    SafeWork SA for a summary report. This is covered in further detail in the

    section: 'Obtaining A SafeWork SA Report'.

    The role of the South Australia Police

    The police are called immediately after a workplace death and perform a

    number of important roles such as:

    notifying the next of kin

    informing the Coroners Court

    arranging for a family member or close friend to formally identify the


    conducting an investigation to establish whether any criminal offences were


    inquiring if necessary into the cause of death on behalf of the Coroner, and

    preparing a full report for the Coroner.

    Co-operation between SafeWork SA and the police

    SafeWork SA and the police work closely together and may conduct a joint

    investigation. In some circumstances this may not be possible and separate enquiries

    will be made. In such cases, you will be informed about the progress of the

    investigations by both agencies.

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    Sometimes it is important for the police and SafeWork SA to interview witnesses

    separately because the information they require will be different. Confidentiality

    provisions bind each department, so it is not always appropriate or possible to

    share information.

    The role of the State CoronerThe State Coroner is a judicial officer who:

    ensures investigations and inquests into deaths, fires, accidents and the

    disappearance of missing persons are properly managed

    makes what are called findings about the cause of death in certain cases

    decides if it is necessary to hold an inquest into the death or disappearance

    of a person, a fire or an accident

    conducts inquests to determine the cause or circumstances of a death,

    disappearance, fire or accident.

    The Coroner is appointed and the Coroners duties are conducted in accordance

    with the Coroners Act 2003.



    An occupational health and safety investigation is a search for information

    about an incident that uses evidence to establish:

    what has occurred

    how it occurred

    who, if anyone, is responsible

    whether it could or should have been prevented.

    An investigation involves collecting evidence, including:

    witness statements

    photographs equipment in use


    objects found at the scene

    documentary evidence such as safe operating procedures and training records.

    An investigation may also involve the engagement of experts to examine

    evidence and provide reports about their findings.

    The range of possible investigation outcomes includes:

    giving verbal directions (only in situations where the hazard can be controlled

    while the inspector is present)

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    issuing Improvement and Prohibition notices

    mounting a prosecution.

    Depending on the circumstances, it may be appropriate for more than one of

    the above actions to be taken, or for no further action to be taken.

    At the minimum, SafeWork SA undertakes a preliminary investigation of all

    reported deaths that occur in or around a workplace to establish whether they

    fall within the scope of the Occupational Health, Safety and Welfare Act 1986.

    Some deaths, such as death by natural causes or while journeying between

    work and home, do not fall within the scope of the Act and are not considered

    to be work-related. In these cases, unless there is evidence that the deceaseds

    work may have contributed to their death, the investigation is finalised.

    The duration of an investigation depends on the complexity of the matter.

    Determining the cause of an incident sometimes requires machinery ormaterials to be tested, while determining responsibility will depend on the

    relationships between employers, employees, contractors, sub-contractors

    and others.

    The decision to prosecute

    Before a prosecution begins, there must be a reasonable prospect of success.

    This criterion is initially considered by SafeWork SA officers, including

    investigators, managers and lawyers. If it is decided to proceed to prosecution,

    the case is referred to the Crown Solicitors Office for its assessment and adviceon evidence.

    The Crown Solicitors Office represents SafeWork SA in court and its lawyers

    provide their opinion based on their experience in prosecuting occupational

    health and safety cases. As part of this assessment, the case may be referred

    back to the investigator for the collection of additional evidence before a final

    determination is made.

    The prospect of success is a legal consideration that depends on the facts of

    the particular case as established by the evidence collected duringinvestigation. The evidence must be capable of proving that an offence under

    the Occupational Health, Safety and Welfare Act 1986 (the Act) has occurred

    in relation to the incident.

    Because offences under the Act are criminal offences, they must be proved

    beyond reasonable doubt in order to obtain a conviction. This is called the

    burden of proof and is a higher burden than the balance of probabilities

    applied in civil matters.

    Not all matters that involve a work-related fatality will result in a prosecution.This decision is made on a case-by-case basis after carefully considering

    whether a breach or breaches have occurred and whether or not they can be

    proved beyond reasonable doubt.

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    For more information about the decision to prosecute, refer to the

    SafeWork SA Enforcement Policy, which is available by visiting and going to About Us, or by contacting

    SafeWork SA.

    COURT PROCESSOffences under the Occupational Health, Safety and Welfare Act 1986 are

    criminal offences and are generally heard by magistrates appointed to the

    South Australian Industrial Relations Court.

    Once the final decision is made to prosecute, a document called a Complaint

    and Summons is filed in the Magistrates division of the Industrial Relations


    The complaint is the mechanism for laying charges, and must be filed within

    two years of the alleged offence occurring. The party charged with an offenceis called the defendant.

    The summons is the order whereby the defendant is required to attend court

    and includes the date and time of the defendants first appearance.

    A defendant is unlikely to enter a plea at their first appearance and will be

    required to attend every month or two until they indicate that they will enter

    a plea. The court will not allow the defendant to adjourn indefinitely.

    If the defendant chooses to plead guilty, each party (prosecution and defence)

    will make penalty submissions to the court. One to two hours will be setaside at a later date for the Crown Solicitors Office, representing

    SafeWork SA, and the defendants lawyer to each tell the Magistrate what

    range they think the penalty should be in and why. The maximum penalty for

    an offence is specified in the Occupational Health, Safety and Welfare Act

    1986 but the Magistrate will also consider the provisions of the Criminal Law

    Sentencing Act 1988 in determining a penalty. Non-monetary penalties may

    also be determined as an additional or alternative sanction.

    In most cases, the penalty handed down is likely to be lower than themaximum penalty. A range of considerations is taken into account in setting

    the penalty; it is not the purpose of the penalty to place a value on a life.

    Both parties have the right to appeal against the penalty on the grounds that

    they consider it to be either manifestly inadequate or manifestly excessive.

    If the defendant pleads not guilty, a trial will be held at the end of which

    the Magistrate will decide whether the charges against the defendant are

    proved (guilty) or not proved (not guilty). The number of days or weeks set

    aside for the trial will depend on the amount of evidence to be heard. At theend of the trial, the matter will be adjourned until the Magistrate is ready to

    give their decision. If the charges are proved, the matter is adjourned for

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    penalty submissions at a later date. If the charges are not proved, the

    defendant is acquitted.

    The parties have the right to appeal the finding as to guilt and/or the size of

    the penalty. Appeals in relation to these matters are initially heard before a

    Judge in the Industrial Relations Court.

    This is a simplified explanation of what may take place during prosecution.

    Variations to the process may occur, such as:

    more than one defendant is charged

    a defendant pleads guilty to some charges and not guilty to others

    trial hearing days occur in more than one block

    a disputed facts hearing is held

    an application is made to have the complaint withdrawn.

    The time taken by the court process will depend on how long it takes the

    defendant to decide on their plea, what the plea is, the duration of any

    proceedings and adjournments, and any other hearings that may occur. The

    shortest recent example was four months from filing the complaint to a guilty

    plea and conviction, while the longest recent example was around two and a

    half years from filing the complaint to a guilty finding at trial, which was then

    appealed by the defendant.

    If you wish to be updated about the progress of an investigation orprosecution, you should advise the investigating inspector.

    Obtaining a SafeWork SA Report

    SafeWork SA will make every attempt to provide the family of a person fatally

    injured at work with all legally available information obtained by the

    investigation in a timely manner. It is important, however, that you are aware

    of several legal and practical limitations affecting what can be released

    and when.

    LimitationsConfidentiality provisions of the Occupational Health, Safety and Welfare Act

    1986 and other safety related legislation limit the amount and type of

    information about an investigation that can be released. Practical

    complications can also arise when the person making the request is not

    clearly identifiable as a family member, or where the family is estranged and

    members object to the release of information to each other.

    If SafeWork SA or another regulatory body is considering prosecution, access

    to many documents will be delayed until all criminal proceedings and appealsare completed. Release of certain documents may prejudice court

    proceedings, potentially causing the case to be lost.

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    In these cases, SafeWork SA will release what it can when your request is

    received, while other documents may be released once the legal process is

    completed. It is important to note that prosecution may take a number of

    years, and you may wish to withhold your request until that time.

    Accessing a Summary of FactsThe family of a person fatally injured at work or their legal representative can

    write to SafeWork SA and request a summary report of the facts established

    by the investigating inspector. The summary will be provided on completion of

    the investigation and, if the matter is to be prosecuted, at the end of all

    criminal proceedings and appeals.

    Freedom of Information Act 1991

    If you wish to obtain further information about the investigation findings or

    particular documents obtained during the investigation, you can request the

    information under the Freedom of Information Act 1991. Anyone can apply

    for information under this Act.

    The Freedom of Information Actgives you a legally enforceable right of access

    (subject to certain restrictions) to documents within the possession of

    South Australian Government agencies, local government authorities and

    South Australian universities. The purpose of Freedom of Information (FOI) is

    to make the business of government open and accountable to all.

    The fees and charges for making and processing an FOI application are listed

    on the application form, available by calling SafeWork SA or by visiting All fees will be waived if you can prove you

    hold a concession card or are otherwise financially disadvantaged.

    SafeWork SA has 30 days in which to process your application once it is

    received. This does not mean that all documents will be provided within

    30 days as the limitations on releasing documents subject to criminal

    proceedings apply.

    While the FOI legislation aims to provide access rather than prevent it, it does

    provide for the exemption of certain documents from release. Exemptions that

    tend to apply to SafeWork SA investigations would exclude:

    documents affecting law enforcement and public safety, where release

    would prejudice the fair trial of a person or the impartial adjudication

    of a case;

    documents containing personal information, including for example,

    allegations of criminal or other improper conduct that have not been

    proven by judicial process;

    documents created for the dominant purpose of obtaining or giving legal

    advice or use in litigation; and

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    documents that are the subject of confidentiality provisions such as s55 of

    the Occupational Health, Safety and Welfare Act 1986 and s9 of the

    Dangerous Substances Act 1979.

    The most common examples of documents exempt from release are where

    SafeWork SA is considering prosecution activity in relation to the incident andthe release of such information could potentially prejudice such activity. Under

    these circumstances, the documents will not be released until the completion

    of the legal proceedings.

    If a document is deemed to be exempt from release, SafeWork SA may be

    required to deny you access to all or part of that document. If access is

    refused, you will be informed of the reasons and advised of your appeal


    For information about accessing documents under the Freedom ofInformation Act, contact SafeWork SA and ask for the FOI Officer.


    An inquest is a court hearing in which the Coroners Court gathers

    information to assist in determining the cause and circumstances of death

    and, if appropriate, to make recommendations that may prevent similar

    deaths occurring in the future.

    The Coroners Court will call witnesses to give evidence. However under the

    Coroner's Act, if there are criminal proceedings, a coronial inquriy may not becompleted until such legal proceedings are finalised.

    An inquest is not a trial and it is not the Coroners role to establish whether a

    crime has been committed or to find a person guilty of that crime. It is an

    investigative process to identify the cause and circumstances of a death.

    As such, the Coroner is not bound by laws of evidence. However under the

    Coroner's Act, if there are criminal proceedings, a coronial inquiry may not be

    completed until such legal proceedings are finalised.

    Few deaths reported to the State Coroners Office become the subject of aninquest. However, the State Coroner may decide to hold an inquest if he or

    she believes the cause or circumstances of death are a matter of substantial

    public importance. Section 21 of the Coroners Act 2003 prescribes when an

    inquest must be conducted.

    A relative or person whom the State Coroner decides has a sufficient interest

    in the matter may request an inquest. The request must be made in writing to

    the State Coroner and state the reasons for the request. The State Coroner

    will consider those reasons when deciding whether or not to hold an inquestand the next of kin will be informed of the decision.

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    If it is decided to hold an inquest, the next of kin listed by the State Coroner's

    Court will be advised in writing of the time and place of the hearing. After

    the inquest is completed, a copy of the Coroners findings and any

    recommendations will be sent to the next of kin.

    Usually any person may attend and listen to the court proceedings. In certain

    circumstances, the Coroner may exclude attendance by individuals or the

    public generally, or prohibit the publication of evidence.

    Next of kin are not required to attend an inquest unless they are called as


    Attending an inquest can be unnerving or even traumatic for families, both

    because of the content of the evidence and by being unfamiliar with

    courtroom processes. Next of kin may choose to be represented by a lawyer

    but it is not essential.

    If you are asked to give evidence at an inquest, you can find out what you

    need to do from staff at the Coroners Court.

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    Depending on the circumstances, the deceased may be admitted to the

    Forensic Science South Australia Mortuary, transferred directly to a funeral

    home, or if the death occurred in a hospital, may temporarily remain in thehospital mortuary.


    A post-mortem examination, also known as an autopsy, is a step-by-step

    examination of the outside of the body and of the internal organs by a doctor

    known as a pathologist. It is conducted without unnecessary delay, usually

    within 48 hours of the death, to enable the body to be released to the

    deceaseds family as quickly as possible.

    Should your religious beliefs make it necessary for the body to be releasedsooner, please contact the Coroners Office.

    In most coronial cases a post-mortem is required to determine the precise

    cause of death.

    However on some occasions the State Coroner can determine the cause of

    death from the person's medical history and the police report on the

    circumstances surrounding the death.

    The State Coroner should be advised immediately in writing of any objection

    to a post-mortem being conducted so that it can be delayed while the objectionis considered. Because the State Coroner has to bring down a finding as to

    the specific cause of death, it is their decision as to whether a post-mortem is

    conducted but objections raised by next of kin will be seriously considered.

    Obtaining a copy of the post-mortem report

    A copy of the post-mortem report may be made available to a next of kin

    through a nominated doctor who can explain the contents. If other special

    reports are prepared these can also be made available.

    If you are a next of kin and wish to receive a copy of the report, write to the

    Manager, State Coroners Office, 302 King William Street, Adelaide South

    Australia 5000. The letter should state your name, your relationship to the

    deceased and the name and address of the doctor to whom you would like

    the report sent.


    Arranging a funeral can mean making many decisions at a very difficult and

    emotional time.

    A funeral director should be approached as soon as possible. They will liaise with

    the Coroners Court about the release of the deceased, which cannot happen

    until the post-mortem is complete and the body has been formally identified.

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    Funeral directors are there to offer help and guidance during one of life's

    most difficult times. To ensure the funeral arrangements reflect your needs:

    do not be reluctant to ask any questions

    be sure to discuss all the available financial options before making

    a decision

    select a funeral director that is licensed and has a good reputation in the

    community. The Australian Funeral Directors Association (AFDA) has a

    listing of funeral directors with AFDA membership (

    The Yellow Pages also has a listing of funeral directors in your area

    plan a personalised ceremony or service to help you begin the healing

    process. Getting through grief is never easy but having a meaningful

    funeral or tribute will help

    discuss with the funeral director or minister of religion their role in the

    service to ensure you understand what you need to arrange.

    Other tasks that need to be performed may include:

    consulting the will of the deceased for any unique funeral arrangements

    to be made

    informing relevant people as quickly as possible, including relatives and

    friends, insurance company, doctor(s), the cemetery or memorial park

    (if one was specified in the will), any organisations, clubs, or unions towhich the deceased may have belonged

    organising the funeral service e.g. location, type of service, casket or urn,

    flowers, music, cars, eulogy and pallbearers

    providing relevant information (e.g. surviving family members, location of

    services, etc.) for newspaper notices.

    Returned service personnel may be entitled to an official war grave. If you

    think this may be the case, contact the Commonwealth Department of

    Veterans Affairs on 133 254 or visit

    Websites such as also give options for planning

    a funeral.

    Paying for the funeral

    Some people make a provision in their will for the payment of funeral costs.

    Some health funds, trade unions and other associations and clubs may

    provide a funeral benefit for members. Check whether these provisions are

    available to you.

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    If you are suffering financial hardship, you may be eligible for the Families SA

    Funeral Assistance Program, which provides financial assistance for a basic

    funeral telephone 1300 762 577.

    The funeral director may ask for a deposit to be paid before the funeral, and

    for the balance to be paid by an agreed date. Ensure you check the terms and

    conditions for payment of the funeral before you commit to them.

    If a workers compensation claim is accepted, a funeral benefit may be



    The loss of a loved one in a work-related death is likely to be one of the most

    difficult experiences you will go through. Initially you may feel total shock and

    think this isnt real or it cant be true.

    The realities of your own future and that of your family may be a majorconcern.

    There is no single, easy way of dealing with such a loss, but the tips below

    may be helpful during the early days following your loved ones death.

    Choose someone to help with the practical matters, such as arranging the

    funeral, and dealing with other immediate issues such as finances,

    contacting friends and family, liaising with police, etc

    Be around as many good friends and family as possible. Keeping your

    support network close by is crucial at this time

    Get as much sleep as you can. Although this may be difficult, having

    adequate rest will help you cope emotionally

    Although you may not feel like eating, it is important to continue

    regularly eating nutritious food

    Friends and relatives may ask if they can do anything to help. Although

    you may feel concerned about imposing on them, taking up an offer of a

    cooked meal, child minding or help with the housework may give youextra time to make arrangements

    For major decisions it may be useful to consult a family member or trusted

    person. Grief can affect concentration, memory and emotion and you may

    not be in the best state to make important decisions

    Relatives and friends may offer advice about how you should be grieving.

    Although some advice may be valuable, remember that everyones

    experience of grief is different. Try to take on advice that is of use to you

    and leave behind the advice that is well-meaning but unhelpful.

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    Grief counselling

    Counselling or contact with a healthcare professional can be helpful in the

    early days and in the future. You may wish to see a supportive medical

    practitioner, a counsellor or contact a group such as Voice of Industrial Death

    (VOID), a South Australian support and advocacy group for people grieving as

    a result of workplace death. It can be helpful to talk to someone outside your

    immediate family who has experience in assisting people in similar situations.

    Counselling is often deemed a reasonable medical expense and may be

    covered in a workers compensation claim. You may be entitled to access

    counselling through an Employee Assistance Program, a union or a

    professional association. Grief is a normal healing process that occurs when

    we go through loss in our lives.

    Counselling can help you to:

    talk about your loss

    understand the stages of grief and what you are feeling

    find ways to cope in the weeks and months after the loss

    obtain the support you need

    deal with symptoms, such as appetite or sleep disturbance, isolating

    yourself or difficulty with day-to-day life

    find ways to remember your loved one and move towards the future.FINANCIAL MATTERS

    Death Certificate

    You may find that it is difficult to work out any financial matters until you

    have received a Death Certificate. The release of a Death Certificate may take

    some time, though it is possible to request an interim Death Certificate. Once

    the Coroner has established a cause of death, the death will be formally

    registered with Births, Deaths and Marriages. You will need to contact Births,

    Deaths and Marriages on (08) 8204 9599 to arrange a Death Certificate.A copy will need to be sent to the claims manager as part of any claim for

    workers compensation.

    Wills, grants and probate

    A will is an important document that enables a person to exercise their legal

    rights of directing to whom and in what manner their assets should be

    distributed upon their death and to appoint someone to look after their

    affairs. When there is no will or no valid will, the estate may not be divided

    according to the wishes of the deceased because legislation sets out how it

    will be distributed.

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    The executor/s are the nominated person/s in a will responsible for the entire

    administration of an estate and distribution of assets to beneficiaries.

    An executor needs to go through the process of officially proving the validity

    of the will, known as obtaining probate.

    The Supreme Court of South Australia has exclusive jurisdiction in

    South Australia to make orders in relation to the:

    validity of the will of a deceased person

    appointment of an executor or an administrator

    administration of a deceased estate.

    The Probate Registry is the registry of the court that deals with applications

    for grants of probate or administration and other related matters. The registry

    keeps a record of probates and administration granted by the court. The

    Supreme Court has more information about probates and the Probate

    Registry, and can be contacted on (08) 8204 0476.

    A Grant of Representation is a certificate issued under seal by the court

    appointing an administrator, or authenticating the right of an executor to

    administer the estate of a deceased person and vesting title to assets in the

    executor or administrator. The Supreme Court website

    ( provides information on:

    why and when a grant is needed

    how to make an application for a grant

    how to search for grants on the Probate Registry.

    If a person dies without making a will, or their will is not valid, then the

    person is said to have died intestate. This means the person has no say as to

    what happens to their property. It is more difficult and expensive for the

    beneficiaries to administer the person's estate if they have died without a

    valid will.

    If you are deemed to be in a de facto relationship under the FamilyRelationships Act 1975you must apply for an order in the civil jurisdiction of

    the Supreme Court, which recognises you as a putative (or de facto) spouse.

    Recognition as a putative spouse provides the same rights as a spouse.

    Generally, if a person has a child from the relationship with the deceased or

    has lived the last five out of six years with them, the order recognising a

    person as a putative spouse will be granted.

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    The validity of a will can be questioned for a number of reasons, such as:

    the person who made the will did not have the testamentary capacity to

    make a will at the time it was signed

    the person was unduly influenced by another person in the making

    of the will

    parts of the will were changed after it was signed.

    The will of any person can be challenged or contested after their death,

    although only those people who are defined in the Inheritance (Family

    Provision) Act 1972 are eligible to make a claim against a will.

    An application must be made within six months of the death of the person.

    One way to proceed with this is to ask a legal practitioner to make an

    application on your behalf.

    Workers Compensation

    SafeWork SA and WorkCover are separate organisations with different

    responsibilities. WorkCover is a statutory authority and has responsibility for

    administration of the Workers Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1986.

    As such, WorkCover is responsible for issues relating to workers


    A range of issues must be considered for WorkCover to determine a workers

    compensation claim. A death occurring at work is not always compensable.

    For a claim to be accepted by WorkCover:

    the deceased must have been a worker (as defined in section three of the

    Workers Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1986)

    the disability that caused death must have been employment-related (that

    is, it arose out of, or in the course of employment)

    the disability must have been compensable

    the territorial conditions set out in the Workers Rehabilitation andCompensation Act 1986 must be met.

    Please note that under the Workers Rehabilitation and Compensation Act

    1986, disability means physical or mental injury or death. Please see section

    three of the Act for more information.

    The only sure way to test compensability is to lodge a claim. Workers

    compensation claim forms are available from employers, major post offices,

    WorkCover at 100 Waymouth Street, Adelaide, or online at You can also contact WorkCover on 13 18 55 to startthe claims process over the telephone.

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    WorkCovers claims agent, Employers Mutual, manages workers

    compensation claims. If Employers Mutual decides the death is compensable,

    a range of benefits may be payable depending on the circumstances. These

    may include a funeral benefit, a lump sum to a surviving spouse and

    dependent children, and weekly payments to a dependent spouse and

    dependent children. Counselling is often deemed a reasonable medical

    expense and may be covered in a compensation claim.

    In some circumstances, Employers Mutual may determine a dependent relative

    other than a spouse or child is entitled to a lump sum or weekly payments.

    Definitions you should be aware of

    You need to be aware of definitions under the Workers Rehabilitation and

    Compensation Act 1986. Please note that each definition below in italics with

    an explanation following is as it appears in the legislation.

    Child, in relation to a deceased worker, includes a person in relation to whom

    the worker stood, at the date of death in loco parentis (meaning in the place

    of a parent).

    This refers to someone parented by the deceased person. A child who is

    dependent on a deceased worker is not necessarily precluded from

    compensation on the basis that he or she is not the workers natural child.

    A guardian may be considered to be a parent of the child for the purposes of

    the Workers Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1986.

    Dependant, in relation to a deceased worker, means a relative of the worker

    who, at the time of the workers death:

    a) was wholly or partially dependent for the ordinary necessities of life on

    earnings of the worker, or

    b) would, but for the workers disability, have been so dependent, and

    includes a posthumous child of the worker.

    This refers to a relative who relied on the deceased person to financially

    support them.

    Spouse, in relation to a worker, includes a person who is cohabiting with the

    worker as the de facto husband or wife of the worker if:

    (a) (i) the person has been so cohabiting with the worker continuously for

    the preceding period of five years, or

    (ii) the person has during the preceding period of six years cohabitated

    with the worker for periods aggregating not less than five years, or

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    (iii) although neither subparagraph (i) nor (ii) applies, the person has

    been cohabiting with the worker for a substantial part of a period

    referred to in either of those subparagraphs and the Corporation

    considers that it is fair and reasonable that the person be regarded

    as the spouse of the worker for the purposes of this Act, or

    (b) a child, of whom the worker and the person are the parents, has

    been born (whether or not the child is still living).

    For further information on how to make a claim, please contact Employers

    Mutual on 1300 365 105 or WorkCover for general information on 13 18 55.

    You may also benefit from legal advice from a lawyer who deals with workers

    compensation. There are free and low cost advice services available through

    the Law Society of South Australia, as well as a list of all lawyers who practise

    in workers compensation. You can call the Law Society on 8229 0222.

    Superannuation and life insurance

    Superannuation contributions will have usually been paid into a fund by the

    employer. There may also be funds from previous employment that have been

    forgotten about. To find out about:

    current superannuation, contact the employer or union

    contributions paid by previous employers, contact the Australian Taxation

    Office Lost Members Register by calling 131 020.

    One or more life insurance policies may also have been held by your deceased

    relative or partner. You will need to find policy documents in order to enquire

    further. Some superannuation funds also include life insurance, so it is worth

    checking that with the fund.

    Money owed by employer

    Your deceased relative or partners employer may owe holiday or long service

    pay or other entitlements. Contact the employer, or SafeWork SAs Help

    Centre on 1300 365 255, for information about entitlements.

    Urgent bills

    It is sometimes possible in urgent situations to postpone regular payments like

    home and other loans or direct debits. Contact your financial institution or

    credit service provider to see if this can be arranged.

    If there is a mortgage on your house, ask the lending institution whether

    payments are covered by insurance or whether you can renegotiate the loan.


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    You may be entitled to certain benefits. Contact Centrelink for information

    about any entitlements available to you. The numbers are available in the

    Contacts and Resources list of this booklet.

    LEGAL ASSISTANCEThe Law Society and the Legal Services Commission provide advisory services

    that can assist with basic legal questions free or at low cost. The commission

    also provides legal aid in certain circumstances.

    The Law Society

    Appointments are available each Monday, Wednesday and Thursday between

    5.30pm and 7.00pm. A twenty-minute interview with a solicitor costs $22

    (or $10 for pension or concession card holders).

    Appointments can be made by calling the Law Society on (08) 8229 0222.

    Legal Services Commission

    Free legal advice is available to any person on most legal matters from the

    Legal Services Commission. The role of the legal adviser is to identify the

    client's problem, to inform the client of their rights and obligations and to

    help them understand what course(s) of action can be taken. The adviser

    may also draft letters for clients and where appropriate, write letters on

    their behalf.

    The commission offers an outreach advice service to a number of country

    centres including Murray Bridge and Port Augusta. If you live in an area not

    serviced by the Country Outreach Program, phone 1300 366 424 and ask

    for advice phone back assistance. An adviser will then contact you at a

    pre-arranged time to discuss your problem.

    There is also a telephone advice service available for information and referrals

    from Monday to Friday, 9.00am - 4.30pm. Contact the Legal Services

    Commission on 1300 366 424.

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    Provides a counselling service for people experiencing grief from all kinds of losses,

    including bereavement, for a small fee.

    Telephone: (08) 8301 4200

    Email: [email protected]



    Provides support to children aged between 5 and 16 who are grieving the loss of a

    parent, sibling or carer. The program provides children with a weekend camp

    conducted by trained mentors and carers.

    Telephone: (08) 8301 4208

    Email: [email protected]:


    Provides assistance in finding a suitable private practice

    fee-for-service psychologist.

    Telephone: 1800 333 497

    Email: [email protected]



    Delivers services, including counselling, regardless of religion, race, culutral oreconomic circumstance.

    Telephone: (08) 8210 8200

    Email: [email protected]



    Provides a free, confidential and anonymous telephone and online counselling

    service specifically for young people aged between 5 and 25.

    Telephone: 1800 551 800

    Email: [email protected]:


    Provides a 24-hour telephone counselling service.

    Telephone: 13 11 14

    Email: [email protected]



    Provides community support services including grief counselling to Aboriginal and

    Torres Strait Islander people.

    Telephone: (08) 8223 5217


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    A range of community services by the Uniting Church including grief counselling.

    Telephone: (08) 8202 5190

    Email: [email protected]




    Provides grief support for parents and families following the death of a son,

    daughter, brother or sister.

    Telephone: (08) 8351 0344 (24 hour message bank)

    Email: [email protected]



    Provides practical assistance and crisis support.

    Telephone: Adelaide: (08) 8227 0199

    Arndale: (08) 8445 2044

    Campbelltown: (08) 8365 2301

    Elizabeth: (08) 8255 8811

    Mount Gambier: (08) 8725 9900

    Noarlunga: (08) 8382 1600

    Norwood: (08) 8332 0283

    Peterborough: (08) 8651 3155

    Port Lincoln: (08) 8682 6724Whyalla: (08) 8645 7101



    Provides on-line grief support, education and resources via email to the bereaved

    from all over the world.



    Provides support to those grieving over the death of a partner.

    Telephone: (08) 8272 4334Email: [email protected]



    Provides support and advocacy to people who have lost loved ones to

    workplace death.

    Telephone: (08) 8524 6879

    Email: [email protected]


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    Provides on-line information about depression and anxiety.



    Provides on-line information resources on death-related grief. This site is

    South Australian and provides information about support services and activities

    specific to this State.



    Provides practical on-line information and advice about dealing with death and

    grief, under the Life Events section of its website.




    Provides assistance to help people to become self-sufficient and supports people

    in need.

    Telephone:13 23 00

    (for people who are not employed and aged over 65)

    13 28 50

    (for people who are not employed and aged under 65)

    13 27 17(for people who are not employed and have a disability) .



    Provides free, confidential financial counselling for people finding it hard to make

    ends meet.

    Telephone: (08) 8226 8800 (General Enquiries) or

    13 16 11 (Emergency Crisis Care)

    Email: [email protected]


    People who have recently experienced the death of a family member and are

    facing financial hardship, may be eligible to receive financial assistance to cover

    the costs of a basic funeral and other related expenses.

    Telephone: 1300 762 577


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    Provides a range of services related to wills and estates and can act as an executor

    or administrator of an estate, for a fee.

    Telephone: (08) 8226 9200

    Email: [email protected]:


    Provides information and advice about wills, grants and probate under the Life

    Events section of its website.

    Telephone: 13 23 24



    Provides information about probate.

    Telephone: (08) 8204 0476Website:



    A non-profit organisation which provides a free legal service to Aboriginal people

    and their dependants.

    Telephone: (08) 8113 3777 or 1800 643 222

    Email: [email protected]



    Provides free or low cost assistance with basic legal questions.

    Telephone: (08) 8229 0222

    Email: [email protected]



    Provides free assistance with basic legal questions as well as low cost legal aid in

    certain circumstances.

    Telephone: 1300 366 424



    Provides a range of services for people who have suffered as a result of a

    criminal offence.

    Telephone: (08) 8231 5626 or 1800 182 368 for regional callers.

    Email: [email protected]


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    Delivers a wide range of integrated help and information services to business.

    Telephone: (08) 8300 0000 or 1800 088 105



    Provides information about the court aspects of the prosecution process.

    Telephone: (08) 8207 0999



    Investigates workplace safety incidents, and administers all occupational health,

    safety and welfare legislation in South Australia.

    Telephone: 1300 365 255 or (08) 8303 0400 for mobile and interstate callers.

    Email: [email protected]:


    Provides various information, assistance and services to union members.

    Telephone: (08) 8279 2222

    Email: [email protected]



    Provides information about the coronial process. It also offers a free counselling,

    information and support service provided by experienced social workers.Telephone: (08) 8204 0600

    Email: [email protected]



    Provides services to rehabilitate, compensate and return injured workers to the

    workplace and community.

    Telephone: 13 18 55

    Email: [email protected]



    Assists working women who are not members of a union.

    Telephone: (08) 8410 6499 or 1800 652 697

    Email: [email protected]


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    100 Waymouth Street, Adelaide


    Telephone: 1300 365 255 or (08) 8303 0400 for mobile and interstate callersEmail: [email protected]

    To report all serious workplace accidents and incidents telephone 1800 777 209 (24 hour service)


    Telephone: (08) 8204 8877Facsimile: (08) 8204 8883Email: [email protected]


    Telephone: (08) 8204 8881 or (08) 8204 8882Facsimile: (08) 8204 8883Email: [email protected]

    Opening hours from 8.30am - 5.30pm,

    Monday to Friday (the Help Centre

    closes at 4.15pm on Wednesdays)


    Level 3, 1 Richmond Road, Keswick

    GPO Box 465, Adelaide, SA 5001

    DX 715, Adelaide


    30 Kay Avenue, BerriPO Box 346, Berri SA 5343Telephone: (08) 8595 2199


    Level 1, 11 Helen Street, Mount GambierPO Box 871, Mount Gambier SA 5290Telephone: (08) 8735 1199


    Civic Centre, Suite 10, 60 Tasman Terrace, Port LincolnPO Box 2862, Port Lincoln SA 5606Telephone: (08) 8688 3057

    PORT PIRIELevel 1, 104 Florence Street, Port PiriePO Box 462, Port Pirie SA 5540Telephone: (08) 8638 4777


    15-17 Horwood Street, WhyallaPO Box 696, Whyalla SA 5600Telephone: (08) 8648 8733

    To speak to SafeWork SA in a language other than English, contact the Interpreting andTranslating Centre on (08) 8226 1990 and ask them to contact SafeWork SA. This interpreting

    service is available at no cost to you.